BOSaNOVA Goes Semi-Rugged with New Thin Client
April 15, 2008 Alex Woodie
BOSaNOVA unveiled a new semi-rugged thin client tablet computer, the Windows-based 410XP BOStablet, at the recent COMMON conference in Tennessee. The Arizona company also upgraded its Linux-based thin clients with new software.
On the ruggedness scale, there is full military grade ruggedness, or IP64, and then there is a state of semi-ruggedness, or IP53. A device that is rated to IP64 means it can withstand multiple drops and the harsh conditions of the battlefield. For less extreme conditions, there is the IP53 rating, which means the unit is resistant to water and dust and can withstand repeated drops from two-and-a-half feet.
While warehouse and factory floors can be tough places, they typically don’t sport the type of extreme conditions that would warrant fully rugged, IP64 devices. For these conditions, sufficient protection is provided with IP53-rated devices , such as the new BOSaNOVA’s new 410XP BOStablet.
In terms of hardware, the 410XP boasts an AMD Geode LX800 processor running at 500 MHz, 512 MB of RAM, and a 2 GB of flash-based storage; users can purchase a 1.8-inch 30 GB hard disk as an option, but that will reduce its dependability in the field. The device features a 10.4-inch TFT touch display, which is the primary input device (there is no keyboard). An integrated wireless LAN card, a 3.5-hour Li-ion battery, two USB ports, RS-232 and RJ45 ports, DC in jack, VGA out connector, a docking connector, five programmable buttons, one navigation button, and a stand round out the 410XP’s hardware.
In terms of software, the 410XP runs the Windows XP Embedded operating system and comes with a full complement of standard corporate desktop fare: Internet Explorer 7, 5250 and 3270 emulators, PDF and Office viewers, ICA and RDP clients, and an assortment of media players.
The 410XP, which retails for just under $2,000, provides greater speed and mobility than BOSaNOVA’s other tablet thin clients, according to Martin Pladgeman, the company’s president. This includes the 360XP, which has a smaller 8.4-inch screen, 1 GB of storage, and retails for $1,795, and the 310XP, which features a 10.4-inch screen and 1 GB of storage.
“We have addressed the increased need for mobility in the workforce by continually adding and updating our wireless tablet options,” Pladgeman says. “We now have multiple tablet options available to meet many different requirements.”
BOSaNOVA also announced at the show that it has delivered a firmware upgrade to its Linux-based thin client line, which includes the LTC-1300, LTC-600, RBT-366, and RBT-802.
The firmware upgrade improves performance by up to 25 percent while reducing boot time, the company says. The upgrade also brings a new Windows Vista-like interface to the Linux environment, and improvements to the Citrix ICA implementation that makes application icons in the ICA desktop emulation environment look and function like regular icons. Users of the LTC-1300 also gain new voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities via support for Skype.
Additional features include hot plug support of mass storage devices, such as USB flash drives, a new file explorer providing browsing of local drives, support of multiple network shares, and support of new shell script session permitting the creation of custom shell scripts for launching applications or custom setup of the terminal, BOSaNOVA says. The Linux upgrade also brings new releases of Open Office, the Sun JVM, Firefox, and the PDF Reader.
“For years we have preached the merits of Linux and invested heavily in the development of our enterprise-class user interface,” Pladgeman says. “This newest release improves performance again.”